News and Events
Here we'll try to keep you in touch with major developments related to the New Paths to Purpose project. Check back often to see recent highlights from ongoing project research, important announcements, and relevant news coverage.
The Power of Nudges, for Good and Bad
(New York Times) Nudges, small design changes that can markedly affect individual behavior, have been catching on. These techniques rely on insights from behavioral science, and when used ethically, they can be very helpful. But we need to be sure that they aren’t being employed to sway people to make bad decisions that they will later regret.
Obama’s effort to ‘nudge’ America
(Politico) For the past year, the Obama administration has been running an experiment: Is it possible to make policy more effective by using psychology on citizens?
For Empty Nesters, Spending May Trump Extra Saving
(Wall Street Journal) When children leave home, some parents splurge on travel and home projects. They don’t increase retirement saving much on average, a new study shows.
Behaviorists Show the U.S. How to Improve Government Operations
(New York Times) The federal government found a clever way to make a little extra money last summer.
Using Science to Make Government Work Better
(Scientific American) On September 15th, President Obama issued an executive order that acknowledges something we have known for a long time: Human beings are not rational creatures who reliably fill out tax documents, enroll in savings programs, or apply for loans, as economic models assume they do. Instead, they systematically and predictably make decisions that run counter to their best interests, as centuries of observations suggest and behavioral science research now empirically confirms.
Behavioural economics for better decisions
(ABC) Humans 'misbehave'—we're irrational, indecisive and passionate, yet conventional economics assumes that we will always act logically. Can using a more realistic understanding of human behaviour nudge us to change our way of thinking?
When Patients Ignore Doctors’ Emotions
(The Atlantic) The doctor-patient relationship is a crucial, oft-discussed part of health care. One person seeking help, the other with the knowledge to offer it, a beautiful symbiosis. Or so it should be. In reality, this relationship (like all relationships, really) is complicated and messy. Perhaps more so because it takes place in little half-hour bursts, sometimes months apart.
Here’s Why Some People Are More Religious Than Others
(TIME) When it comes to predicting the kind of people most likely to be religious, brainiac scientists used to be everyone’s last guess. The more educated a person was, the thinking went, the more likely they were to question the supernatural.
How to give customers a nudge
(The Globe and Mail) A lawyer, an economist, a marketer, and a behavioural scientist walk into a bar.
This will really make Americans save
(USA Today) Can a doctored webcam photo save your retirement?